Alison Clayburn

On the Phone

She is talking about

a lesson plan.

I notice

how the tomatoes have ripenedto a rich full red,the bananas have grown brown flecks.

She is talking about

the difficulties of accreditation.

I notice

how the light catches the gilded rimof my small oval clockevenly, so that it gleams both sides.

She is talking about

how last week there were not enough tutors,the workshop did not go well.

I see
a mass of dark green fronds,held in a textured light green glaze.

And then I notice

how my body aches with holding.

Fickle Lake
This lake is brownwith a yellow tinge.Its corrugationsflow toward me.A gracious fleetof very white swansidlesby the opposite bank.
The yellow fades, now all I seeis the curlof a silver-leafed treeand a lengthof pale blue sky.
Then the tree in the wateris greenand the strip of skyis white.The swans have been replacedby grey-black geese.
I turn left to look againat how reflected water surface lightdapples the slender trunks of treesbeside me. But nowthere are no moving rings of light,just smooth dull grey.
The coot that waitedexpectantly below meis gone. In its placeis a green-headed duck.
The corrugationshave turned away;they rushtoward the other bank.
I won’t dip my feet in this lake.It can’t be trusted.

Alison Clayburn was born in Hampshire, UK, near the sea. She now lives in London by the Thames. After a long career as a community worker she became an adult educator, specializing in language and communications. She teaches creative writing with an emphasis on personal development, specializing in Writing for Self Discovery courses and workshops. Buddhism has helped her to make changes.